In the past I’ve recited the Lord’s Prayer more times than I can count, but it wasn’t until recently that I really stopped to reflect on what Jesus says in this prayer.
The group I meet with has been sharing about the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6 and Luke 11. In Matthew, Jesus is teaching the crowd in His famous Sermon on the Mount. In Luke’s account, the disciples are watching and listening to Jesus pray, and they ask Him, “teach us how to pray”.
In either case, Jesus responds with a very simple prayer:
Our Father in heaven,
may your name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come soon.
May your will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.
Give us today the food we need,
and forgive us our sins,
as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation,
but rescue us from the evil one.
(Matthew 6:9-13 NLT)
Jesus says a lot in these few words. For example, “Our Father” invites the disciples to participate in the Divine Family. Jesus has a relationship with His Father that He has come to share with us. Not only that, but Our Father is “in heaven”. We share in a relationship with a Father in a heavenly realm. If you look for it in the Gospels, you will find that Jesus emphasizes the goodness of our Father in heaven.
As I continued to reflect on this short prayer, I paraphrased it into my own wording:
Our true Father, who is not from this world, but is from Heaven
Help us live in Your Son, so that Your name is honored
Let your loving mercy expand and fill the earth
So that your ways are known to all in this world
Just as your ways are known in the Heavens
Give us the bread we need to survive today
And don’t let us forget that Jesus is our Real Bread
Open Your heart of forgiveness to us if we hurt You
Just as we open our hearts and forgive those that hurt us
Help us to faithfully live by Jesus’ life in us
And through Him resist the evil of this world
Our Father is the real King of the cosmos
The power of Your love is greater than any other
You are beautiful beyond description
Now and for all eternity
What other things do you see in the Lord’s Prayer?
Follow the Life!
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